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Current Affairs

Marsquake

Date: 13 May 2022 Tags: Geography & Environment

Issue

The largest quake on another plant was recently recorded by NASA’s InSight Mars lander.

 

Background

The InSight lander has been on Mars since 2018. Since then, it has heard 1,313 quakes on the red planet.

 

Details

The largest marsquake previously was recorded in August 2021.

 

Occurrence

Marsquakes occur due to stresses that cause rock fractures or faults in its crust. Earthquakes take place due to shift in tectonic plates, which are absent on Mars.

 

Study of InSight on Mars

The InSight is tasked with finding Mars’ structure, the material layers and heat dissipated from within the body.

 

Significance of study

  • Earth and Mars were similar planets having warm, wet and thick atmospheres. They started to change around 3-4 billion years ago.

  • Mars stopped to evolve but Earth evolved to host life forms. Scientists want to study Mars in detail to understand role of planet’s material in starting life.

 

Discoveries on Mars

  • Scientists have been able to determine that the planet was once warm enough to allow water to flow through its surface.

  • The possibility of liquid on Mars makes it possible that life existed before. Everywhere water has been found, life has existed.

  • If life was once present on Mars, including microbial life, there are high chances that they may exist even today in certain places.

  • If several questions regarding life are answered, there is a high possibility that humans might be able to inhabit the planet one day.

 

Other missions on Mars

 UAE’s Hope, China’s Tianwen-1 and NASA’s Perseverance are some of the Mars missions studying possibility of life on Mars.